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Lockdown easing: What you will be allowed to do from 17 May

Written by: Emma Lunn
People in England will be able to enjoy a pint inside their local pub or go and see a film at the cinema from Monday 17 May.

The planned easing of lockdown restrictions will go ahead next week, with indoor hospitality allowed, and gathering limits increased for both indoors and outdoors.

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced last night that the roadmap for England is on track and that the data shows that the government’s ‘four tests’ for easing restrictions have been met.

Infection rates are at their lowest level since September, while hospital admissions and patients in hospital continue to decrease – with levels now similar to July last year.

What will be open from Monday?

From 17 May, the majority of the indoor and remaining outdoor economy can reopen, and gathering limits will increase both indoors and outdoors.

Pubs can serve customers inside while indoor entertainment, such as cinemas, museums, and children’s play areas, can resume.

Some larger events will be able to take place, including conferences, theatre and concert performances, and sports events. Restrictions on the number of attendees will remain as set out in the roadmap.

The ‘Stay in the UK’ restriction will be lifted and people will be able to travel to green list countries, if they permit inbound travel. Strict border control measures will remain in place, including pre-departure tests and a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back in the UK.

Up to six people or two households will be able to meet indoors and up to 30 people outdoors.

Guidance on meeting family and friends will be updated. The public will be able to make ‘informed, personal decisions’ on close contact, such as hugging, with their friends and family.

Covid-secure rules remain for the workplace and businesses, such as in shops and hospitality.

All remaining university students will be eligible to return to in-person teaching and learning from May 17, and should get tested twice a week upon return.

Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, and commemorative events including wakes. These can take place outdoors or at any indoor Covid-secure venue that is permitted to open. The number of people able to attend a funeral will be determined by the number that can be safely accommodated in the venue with social distancing in place.

Organised adult sport and exercise classes can resume indoors, and saunas and steam rooms may reopen.


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